Weedsport, NY — August 20, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director
History is in the making when Autodrome Drummond stages its first-ever Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series event on Saturday, August 23.
What better time for Roch (pronounced Rock) Aubin to find his way into the record book than with his first career victory in DIRTcar Racing NorthEast’s top traveling class for full-fender racers.
“It would certainly be a big accomplishment,” said Aubin, 24, who captured his first UMP/DIRTcar Pro Stock feature win last Friday at Autodrome Edelweiss and is excited about the possibility of making it two straight in the province of Quebec. “Maybe something to tell my grandchildren about some day. I ran once before at Drummond this year (finished 19th) and got a flat tire on the first lap. But I liked the experience, its always fun trying out a new track.”
“Right now I’m still speechless about getting the first one at Edelweiss. But we’ve definitely put in a lot of time and there’s enough hard work that’s gone in along the way. From May through October you race every weekend and work on the car every day in between. I’m happy to be running a Pro Stock, wouldn’t have it any other way,” beamed Aubin, now considered a rock-solid contender in his fourth year following the Mr. DIRTcar Championship trail.
Aubin will be among the top touring teams vying for the $1,000 top prize in the Coca-Cola 50 on Saturday at Drummond. Heading the list of pre-race favorites will be two-time defending overall Mr. DIRTcar champion and current points leader Pete Stefanski, DIRTcar NE Pro Stock win leader Denis Gauvreau, New England invader Don Carlson, north country standout P.J. Peters and Western New Yorker Don Barnes. Stefanski, Barnes and Louie Jackson (9th pts.) won the initial three features in the 12-race championship series.
Defending home soil will be Drummond points leader Jocelyn Roy, runner-up Bruno Cyr, Roland Hebert, Francis Lecours and Stephane Lemire. Steering the last car built by Joey Ladouceur that carried him to the ’04 Mr. DIRTcar title, Roy was the 2007 Motorsports Safety Systems/G-FORCE DIRTcar NorthEast Rookie of the Year while Cyr, piloting the 2006 Syracuse winning car acquired from Louie Jackson, is at the head of the line to collect the first year honor in ’08.
“The competition is really tough in Canada, yet when you’re out on tour it’s the home track drivers that give you the biggest challenge sometimes,” remarked Aubin, who ranks sixth in the Mr. DIRTcar Series standings and is listed fifth on the chart at Cornwall (Ont.) Motor Speedway where he races every Sunday. “Winning a feature at Cornwall was my first goal this year but so far we’ve been battling mother nature a lot more.”
“Starting out I thought I could be in the top-5 (Mr. DIRT points) and have a chance for a tour win. Finishing sixth in points last year I proved I could be a contender, and if I can finish I know now I can be around the front five. Winning at Edelweiss showed me I might even have a shot for the top-3. I never thought I’d get an interview like this either, these kind of stories are usually saved for the big guys like Stefanski, Jackson and the Peters,” figured Aubin, who finished fifth in the ’08 Series opener at Can-Am then followed up with a pair of ninth-place tallies at Rolling Wheels Raceway and Genesee speedway to climb the ladder.
A top-three seat on the final Mr. DIRTcar points chart is a rather lofty position for Aubin, yet certainly an attainable one considering his growing level of confidence in recent competition. The possibility of dethroning points king Stefanski is far more remote, however, and raises a question that the Alexandria, Ontario driver has yet to find an answer.
“I don’t know who can stop him, he’s already kinda pulling away from the pack again,” said Aubin, referring to DIRTcar NorthEast’s all-time UMP Pro Stock winner with Stefanski racking up 73 wins since 2000 and taking 15 (2nd best) checkered flags taken in tour competition. “Right now everybody wants to beat him. Pete’s a clean driver and he expects that from everybody else. He’s shown me that patience is the key and consistency has a lot to do with it.”
A long time race fan at the popular Cornwall quarter-miler, Aubin made his debut in the new millennium running an Enduro car. He wasted little time moving up to the 4-Cylinder class (2002) and earned the track points title in 2004. The following year marked his first in the UMP Pro Stock division as well as following the Mr. DIRTcar Series, securing 11th in points (4 top-10s) in 2005 and settling for 13th in ’06.
“I only lasted about one lap with the Enduro, I found out quick it was just too much work to put into something that didn’t run very long,” recalled Aubin, who works at his father Ron’s hardware store making building estimates during the week. When the weekend arrives he loads up the black Home Hardware no. 4 OK Tire-Alain Beaupres Construction/Chevrolet Monte Carlo and is joined at the track by his crew comprised of girlfriend Chris and racing buddy Steph. “I always used to help out Joey (Ladouceur) and learn a lot from him on weekends, he was one of the most proudest people when I won at Edelweiss.”
“I like the fact that the Pro Stock teams are respected a lot more around here. Much of that comes from running the series where you’re in a group that is considered among the best whenever there’s a big race. I remember winning my first heat against Jipp Ortiz my rookie year at Ransomville, that gave me some respect right from the start. Hopefully I can continue to keep it here, Pro Stocks are where I plan to be and don’t have an interest in anything else,” Aubin added.
For additional tour information, please contact Pro Stock Series Director Brian Mulligan (613/938-6751) or Cory Reed, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning, at the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during normal business hours. More about the entire circuit is posted on the DIRTcar homepage at www.dirtcar.com.
Further race day material can be found at www.autodrome-drummond.com or by contacting the track office at 819/474-2222. Autodrome Drummond can be reached by traveling Auto Route 20 to exit 177, then going 1.2-miles west on Route 143.
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The Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series for Big-Block Modifieds is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Advance Auto Parts and Hoosier Racing Tire. Rite Aid Corporation is a promotional partner and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks, Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Dig Safely New York, Holley HP Carburetors, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, KSE Racing Products, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks, Rislone Oil Stabilizer and Wrisco Industries.